All Things Film and Television

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) descended on Sydney last month for their biennial conference and exhibition – by James Cunningham


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Tom Waugh and Chris Fox from Ignite Digi at SMPTE – PHOTO Supplied

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The “no professional cameras allowed” sign hanging above the entrance to the Royal Hall of Industries seemed at odds with what was on show in SMPTE’s exhibition spaces. Running the event in the Moore Park precinct, however, provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the latest, cutting-edge equipment and trends in motion imaging technology
Pawel Achtel delivered an outstanding presentation for the ACS on three-dimensional underwater cinematography, showing us there is more to filming underwater than keeping the camera dry.
Tom Waugh and Chris Fox from the Tasmanian-based Ignite Digi presented a look at the changes in drone technology, specifically for cinematography. After the Q&A session Tom and Chris flew their Alexa Mini setup in the ‘Drone Zone’ outside the SMPTE pavilion.
Another highlight was the expert panel on ‘Television Drama Cinematography’. The group included Simon Chapman ACS (Glitch, Nowhere Boys), Martin McGrath ACS (Rake, Jack Irish), Louis Irving ACS (Tangle, The Doctor Blake Mysteries), along with renowned Directors, Adrian Wills (Redfern Now) and Ian Watson (Anzac Girls, Janet King). This was truly a meeting of the industry’s best and brightest.
“This was truly a meeting of the industry’s best and brightest.”
Meanwhile, Chris Fetner from Netflix delivered an outstanding keynote address ‘The Next 100 Years of SMPTE’ where he challenged the industry and SMPTE members to recognise, embrace, and facilitate the evolution of a media landscape in which online delivery of moving images will become the dominant mechanism for

content delivery.

The 2015 SMPTE Expo, supported by the ACS, concluded successfully having provided attendees with a fresh perspective on the future of storytelling. Thousands of people attended the four-day event ‘Persistence of Vision: Defining the Future’, and as a whole
it presented a roadmap for potential achievement and also explored innovations that could ultimately redefine the cinema experience of tomorrow.

The SMPTE15 event was the start of society’s 100th birthday celebration.


James Cunningham is the Editor of Australian Cinematographer Magazine.

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